When I was younger, I often did things that might be considered a little stupid - if not outright dangerous - just to 'see what happens'. I set fire to the kitchen bench trying to burn lighter fluid directly on the hob. I blew up the microwave because I liked watching the pink lightening created by cooking tin foil in there. (I told my parents it had exploded of its own accord, but I'm not really sure they bought this...especially when my Dad found the burnt bit of tin foil in the outside bin.) I even had an radio power cable that I had cut the end off and skinned the wires down to the copper so that I could connect whatever I pleased directly to the mains. I stuck two drawing pins into an orange, wired it up and turned it on. I wanted to see if it would fry. Nothing happened. I moved the drawing pins closer together and tried again. Again nothing. I moved them closer still until they were almost touching. I ficked the switch, the orange hissed, a huge blue flash lit up the room and a handful of bright, glowing dots seemed to almost to float in the air for a moment before drifting down lazily onto the carpet. I inspected the orange: a bit of it had indeed fried and burned much to my excitement, but where were the drawing pins? Turns out the drawing pins had also evaporated in the heat, giving rise to the blobs of molten tin that I had watched drift down and, alas I now realised, burn little black holes into the carpet. I realised my special cable had to go when I stuck the wires directly into a bowl of water and flung the switch: the water bubbled violently for a moment then everything went dark. I'd managed to fuse the house electrics.
And a leopard, it would seem, does not easily change its spots. Yesterday, I began to wonder why the dishwasher needed special tablets. Special, costly tablets. Why shouldn't it work just fine with Fairy Liquid? It is after all only a box that squirts hot water at things, is it not? What possibly could be the consequences of changing the cleaning fluid? At that moment, it was clear to me that the production, promotion and, indeed, prescription of a special cleaning product for dishwashers was nothing less than a keystone in the great, big capitalist lie that I had so far swallowed whole. It's goal: to enslave the proletariat by convincing them that they must work even harder for their capitalist masters so that they might be able to afford new, improved Finish Ultra 12-in-1 Powerball wonder tablets (and their like, naturally). In my moment of wild-eyed epiphony, I seized the Fairly Liquid and filled the little tablet tray to the brim. I would be a blind fool no longer: the time had come to cast off the shackles of the capitalist slavery! I set the machine going and retired to the living room to savour the moral superiority of my rebellion with a freshly brewed Bodum of Fairtrade coffee and a slice of organic, non-GM bread.
Approximately 30 minutes later, I was plunged into darkness and silence. No lights, no telly, no radio...no power. Wandering about my now tenebrose house, I sought the cause...and found it. The dishwasher was surrounded by a spreading pool of steamy water, whilst thick, bubbly foam oozed from the sides of the door in all directions. I've tried all sorts since: I've bailed it out, I've changed the fuses, I've even tried drying it out completely with a towel. Sadly, however, it remains resolutely and irredeemably dead. And each time you try and switch it on, it flicks the main trip-switch and cuts all the power. Alas, with the price of repairs as they are today, my Fairy Liquid experiment would appear to have turned out somewhat of a false economy. I haven't yet quite decided on the best way to tell my flatemate but I must confess that I'm leaning stongly towards the 'it just blew upon of its own accord' style of explanation.
Still, I suppose I did at least get to 'see what happens' when you break the rules.